The following letter was crafted for those writers who were applying for the award. This year’s process is underway, with an announcement being made April 30th, 2021. To watch the free announcement event, register HERE.
Dear Artist Friend,
It is with great joy that I share with you Philadelphia Theatre Company’s renewed commitment to lifting up voices in the American theatre with its Terrence McNally New Play Award. The Terrence McNally Award honors the magic and transformative power of theater as a way to reach into the hearts and minds of audiences. This award will celebrate socially responsible art and civically engaged playwrights who aim to dismantle systems of racism and oppression through fearless and audacious art.
As a provocateur, Terrence McNally’s plays are known to covertly shape new perspectives and widen the gaze of traditionally accepted norms. By granting the Terrence McNally Award to a deserving playwright, a playwright who unflinchingly reps the Illadell through-and-through, it is my hope to celebrate the subversive nature of McNally’s work. Theatre—in all of its various manifestations—can be a serious and compelling form of activism that goes about restorative justice and its reformational work as it tillites and entertains. We are at a fateful moment in our history, teetering on the brink of the rock’s edge. I believe that lionhearted art, which takes into account the vicissitudes and complexities of our cultural intertwining, will guide us to a place of deeper fellow-feeling for diverse voices and equitable inclusion.
The Philadelphia-based playwright selected for the McNally Award will receive a cash award of $5,000 and development guidance at PTC, including administrative and dramaturgical support. We will also facilitate access to professional connections for the future of the playwright and their work following the exploration at PTC.
I, along with a select reading panel of diverse professionals, look forward to your submission. You can find more information about applying for this award and the associated guidelines by going to: PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org/Terrance-McNally-Award/. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Allison Fifield at [email protected]. May the funk be with you all!
Peace, love and soul!
Resident Artist at Philadelphia Theatre Company